Thursday, September 30, 2010
Last night's game followed what has become something of a familiar pattern. Vitezslav Lavicka's side dominated play, scored a good goal, and then simply allowed the opposition to come back into the match. Not quite as starkly as they did on the weekend, when Gold Coast United could have scored three or four during a period of dominance leading up to John Curtis's red card, but the initiative of the game was once again allowed to change hands without hindrance.
At the moment, Lavicka gives the impression of a man resigned to circumstance, which is not a good sign. Plenty of explanations could be offered for Sydney's poor form (not least their lousy off-season recruitment), but this is not the end of the story. Difficult times need proactive methods, and Lavicka has been only reactive of late...if he has been active at all.
A perfect illustration of this has been his use of the bench in the previous two games. Against Miron Bleiberg's side, who looked for much of the first half as if they could play until Christmas and not score, something clearly needed to be done after the break; Gold Coast's midfield three were, embarrassingly, running rings around Sydney's four. The change came, but it was hardly a daring one: a virtual like-for-like switch (Hirofuni Moriyasu for the hapless Scott Jamieson) which, ultimately, made little difference to Sydney's play. Then, when the hosts went 11 v. 10, there was no real attempt to go for the throat, and no second switch until nine minutes from the end.
Last night, with a bench curiously made up of three defenders, Lavicka either failed to notice the shift in momentum that accompanied Jack Hingert's arrival, or underestimated it. Sure enough, with only another like-for-like switch for Sydney in the second period, Franz Straka's more adventurous strategy paid dividends. Yes, there was that Hurst-style shot from Terry McFlynn, and Alex Brosque's near-miss just earlier, both of which might have made the points safe, but to focus unduly on these chances would be to miss the point. Sydney's coach, so shrewd and proactive last season, appears to be losing faith in himself.
Up one year, down the next (even Melbourne Victory! Actually, ESPECIALLY the Victory.)... Sydney may however take this to the extreme and go from first to last!
I would argue that a lack of consistent form (good or otherwise) is one reason why crowds are no good.
Humans do not like change. They become comfortable with a situation and often react negatively to any change.
In the case of bad form, if your club is a perennial underachiever, you get used to it and you go each week not expecting to win. In fact, you go expecting to lose, which in a perverse way, is preferable to not knowing what to expect.
Colosimo and Bolton probably saved the day more than Reddy has or will. The last two goals conceded lost 4 points and were hardly great from a defensive of keeper viewpoint.
(Why did they sign Reddy? Salary reduction can be the only reason)
Cleansheets and Sydney win no matter how they play.
To me they've looked more enterprising in their last two games, similar to last year where they hardly set the world on fire but managed to win - probably due to Bolton and Colosimo in defence.
Have they got the pace and energy to win a game. Doesn't look like it.
Although Bridge behind the front two could be the key - but will he ever perform consistently.
Reddy went to Sydney via Wellington, but the laugh is on him - brilliant at Wellington rubbish at Sydney.
Maybe the writing was there in his last few games at the Roar - Reddy seems to respond poorly to a team being under pressure.
I haven't forgotten him stealing Willis' job at the Roar. Stealing Bolton's was one too many.